The Killing Jar by Jennifer Bosworth is a really weird mix of urban fantasy, mystery, and suspense-thriller with a bit of romance. The plot twists and turns so many times that I pretty much had no idea what was going on most of the time. This story is about a seventeen year-old girl by the name of Kenna Marsden. Kenna is haunted by a terrible tragedy from her past and as a result keeps everyone, especially the people she cares for, at a distance. She struggles to live her life as normal as possible, but Kenna is not like other girls. She is gifted or cursed with supernatural abilities. The extent of her power is soon revealed after tragedy strikes her family again. Afterwards, Kenna is sent to live with her grandmother in a commune. Finally, Kenna finds a place where she is surrounded by people like her and starts to learn about her powers and her family. Just when things look like they might be improving for Kenna, she learns that people may have ulterior motives and she rushes to fight against being used in their evil plot.
This story left me with mixed feelings. It is definitely creepy and suspenseful. The plot is very fast paced. I enjoyed the original take on the paranormal and I loved Kenna. Her narrative voice is strong and compelling. It was easy to connect with her struggle to keep people at a distance even though it made her feel so alone.
The overall concept was intriguing and filled with potential to be a very compelling read. The execution of it, however, fell a bit short for me. I stuck with it to the end though, because the plot was just so bizarre. I needed to know what was happening. The issue is the more I read the more questions I had, that in the end were not completely answered. I would have like to see a bit more explanation or detail of what was going on instead of being left to try and figure it out on my own. The ending does wrap things up, but I felt like the plot jumped from point A to point C and there wasn’t any transition to make it cohesive and believable.
In the end, The Killing Jar left me feeling conflicted. I enjoyed the unique concept and creepiness of the story. It is unlike anything I’ve ever read. I think this book would have benefitted by adding a bit more detail. I really enjoyed Kenna as a main character. I’m not a big fan of her mother. Also, I could have done without a love triangle. I think the story had plenty of conflict without it.